— Trinity downwinders: Dancing in the dust of death

Deliberate government atrocities —

“From the very beginning, the federal government has refused to take responsibility,”  — Sen. Tom Udall

‘A few people were probably overexposed, but they couldn’t prove it and we couldn’t prove it so we just assumed we got away with it.’” — Manhattan Project Medical Director, Dr. Louis Hempelmann

From Beyond Nuclear International

July 16 2018

Time to recognize New Mexico’s Trinity downwinders

By Linda Pentz Gunter

When Barbara Kent was twelve years old she went away to dance camp. It was July 1945. A dozen young girls were enjoying a summer retreat, sleeping together in a cabin, and sharing their love of dance. On July 16 they danced with something deadly.

After being jolted unexpectedly out of bed, they went outside pre-dawn when it should have been dark, to find it bright as day with a strange white ash falling like snowflakes. “Winter in July,” Kent, now 86 years old, has called it.

The girls rubbed the “snowflakes” on their bodies and caught them with their tongues. Before they all turned 40, 10 of the 12 girls had died.

No one had warned the girls, or their teacher, or anyone in the community, that the US government had just exploded the first atomic bomb a little more than 50 miles away at the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range in New Mexico, now known as the Trinity Test Site. The “snowflakes” were deadly radioactive fallout and just the beginning of an endless — and likely permanent — cycle of disease, death and deprivation.

“While it was not the end of the world, it was the beginning of the end for so many people,” said Tina Cordova, co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, an organization that “seeks justice for the unknowing, unwilling and uncompensated participants of the July 16, 1945 Trinity test in southern New Mexico.”

Uncompensated because, even though the Trinity atomic bomb was detonated in New Mexico, and for no reason that anyone has yet ascertained, the people of New Mexico dosed by the fallout have never been acknowledged or officially recognized by the federal government as downwinders.

They have never been compensated and, certainly, they have never received an apology from the US government.

That is why, for the past eight years, first as a US congressman and now as a member of the US Senate, Tom Udall (D-NM) has been fighting for the Trinity downwinders in his state to be included in the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act that, since the law’s inception in 1990, and even after it was amended in 2000, has failed, among others, to include New Mexico victims of the Trinity test.

On June 26, 2018, a hearing finally took place before the US Senate Judiciary Committee, at which Udall and many victims of exposure to radioactive fallout and uranium mining — on the Navajo Nation, in Idaho, New Mexico and even Guam — testified. All of them asked that RECA be amended once again to include those forgotten, ignored and affected, even though in many ways it is coming seventy three years too late.

“People sometimes ask me, ‘why don’t you just move?’” said Cordova when we talked after the Hill hearing. “Well the only safe day to move was July 15, 1945.”

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— Visible plume from NY Fitzgerald nuclear plant

From Activist Post

There’s No Covering Up This One — Visible Pollution Leaking from NY Nuclear Plant

by Matt Agorist
June 28, 2016

US Coast Guard officials have cordoned off a portion of Lake Ontario this week, after aerial spotters found a visible “sheen” that is coming from a nuclear power plant in upstate New York.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary aircrew first noticed the sheen on Sunday. Shortly after, a boat crew from the Oswego station tested the sheen and a “temporary safety zone” was put in place.

The Free Thought Project spoke to the Coast Guard Sector Buffalo Command Center on Tuesday and confirmed that the zone was still closed off, and there is no information as to when it will reopen.

The oil sheen is said to be coming from the vent for the hydrogen seal system of the Fitzpatrick plant is in Scriba, New York, approximately 10 miles northeast of Oswego.

According to the Democrat and ChronicleEntergy Corporation, which operates the plant, found the source of the oil on the roof of a turbine building, said Neil Sheehan, a public affairs officer for the NRC.

“It appears about 20 to 30 gallons that leaked were then drained through the plant’s discharge drain system to the lake,” said NRC public affairs officer Neil Sheehan. “The company has placed oil-absorbent pads on the turbine building roof and has also stopped all circulating water pumps to eliminate any further discharges.”

Despite the miles-long spill coming from their nuclear power plant, Entergy is claiming that the sheen has not impacted the operation of the plant.

It appears that this Fitzpatrick leak is likely the least worrisome of current leaks popping up around the country.

Although the media spotlight is rarely shined upon America’s aging nuclear infrastructure, U.S. nuclear power plants are decaying rapidly, precipitating numerous nuclear environmental disasters across the country.

To give you an idea of the scope of the crisis facing America’s aging nuclear infrastructure, a startling investigation by the Associated Press found radioactive tritium leaking from three-quarters of all commercial nuclear power sites in the United States.

As The Free Thought Project reported last month, a major nuclear disaster is unfolding in Washington state at what is known as the Hanford nuclear site. There have been reports that the Hanford has been leaking massive amounts of radioactive material for over two weeks.

Only a week after 19 workers were sent for medical evaluation after a waste tank they were moving was found to be leaking, 3 more workers have reportedly been injured at the site. The workers reportedly inhaled radioactive fumes – the same issue facing the 19 previously hospitalized workers, according to reports, bringing the total number of workers injured at the site up to 22.

On top of the Hanford disaster, in recent months, a fire at the Bridgeton Landfill is closing in on a nuclear waste dump, according to a Missouri emergency plan recently distributed by St. Louis County officials. The landfill fire has been burning for over five years, and they have been unable to contain it thus far.

There are clouds of smoke that have been billowing from the site, making the air in parts of St. Louis heavily contaminated. In 2013, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster sued Republic Services, the company responsible for the landfill, charging the company with neglecting the site and harming the local environment.

Last year, city officials became concerned that the fire may reach the nearby Lake Landfill, which is littered with decades worth of nuclear waste from government projects and weapons manufacturing. Remnants from the Manhattan Project and the Cold War have been stuffed there for generations. The site has been under the control of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since 1990, but they failed to make any significant effort to clean up the waste.

In December of last year, the EPA announced that it would install a physical barrier in an effort to isolate the nuclear waste. But the timeline given by the EPA said it could take up to a year to complete. Residents aren’t comforted by that timetable, and think the government, despite years of warning, has done too little to stave off a possible environmental disaster. They are right.

To add to the legitimacy of the residents’ worries about the government’s timeline, the ground has yet to be broken, the fire is still smoldering, and the EPA just finalized, on Thursday, an Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent (Settlement) requiring Bridgeton Landfill, LLC to start work on the isolation barrier system at the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site.

Aside from the threat of the U.S. military’s decades-old nuclear waste erupting into flames in the near future, there are also two nuclear reactors inside the United States, which have been leaking for months.

In Florida, a recent study commissioned by Miami-Dade County concluded that the area’s four-decades-old nuclear power plants at Turkey Point are leaking polluted water into Biscayne Bay.

This has raised alarm among county officials and environmentalists that the plant, which sits on the coastline, is polluting the bay’s surface waters and its fragile ecosystem, reports the NY Times. In the past two years, bay waters near the plant have had a large saltwater plume that is slowly moving toward wells several miles away that supply drinking water to millions of residents in Miami and the Florida Keys.

Samples taken during the study show everything from the deadly radioactive isotope, tritium, to elevated levels of salt, ammonia, and phosphorous. So far, according to the scientists conducting the study, the levels of tritium are too low to harm people. However, in December, and January, the levels were far higher than they should be in nearby ocean water which is a telling sign of a much larger underlying problem.

“We now know exactly where the pollution is coming from, and we have a tracer that shows it’s in the national park,” said Laura Reynolds. Reynolds is an environmental consultant who is working with the Tropical Audubon Society and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, which intend to file the lawsuit, according to the Times. “We are worried about the marine life there and the future of Biscayne Bay.”

Fifteen hundred miles north of the leaking reactors in Florida is the Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York. Since the beginning of this year, there’s been an uncontrollable radioactive flow from the Indian Point nuclear power plant that continues leaking into groundwater, which leads to the Hudson River, raising the specter of a Fukushima-like disaster only 25 miles from New York City.

The Indian Point nuclear plant is located on the Hudson River and serves the electrical needs of an estimated 2 million people. In January, while preparing a reactor for refueling, workers accidentally spilled some contaminated water, containing the radioactive hydrogen isotope tritium, causing a massive radiation spike in groundwater monitoring wells, with one well’s radioactivity increasing by as much as 65,000 percent.

The tritium leak is the ninth in just the past year, four of which were severe enough to shut down the reactors. But the most recent leak, however, according to an assessment by the New York Department of State as part of its Coastal Zone Management Assessment, contains a variety of radioactive elements such as strontium-90, cesium-137, cobalt-60, and nickel-63, and isn’t limited to tritium contamination.

As the utility companies and government agencies continue to downplay the severity of these situations, the residents who live the closest to these spots are already feeling the effects.

According to a recent report, Radiation and Public Health Project researchers compared the state and national cancer data from 1988-92 with three other five-year periods (1993-97, 1998-02, and 2003-07). The results, published in 2009, show the cancer rates going from 11 percent below the national average to 7 percent above in that time span. Unexpected increases were detected in 19 out of 20 major types of cancer. Thyroid cancer registered the biggest increase, going from 13 percent below the national average to 51 percent above.

While the U.S. war machine spends hundreds of billions of dollars per year waging war against humanity, Americans at home are dying from a crumbling nuclear infrastructure. The realization that multiple nuclear disasters are currently unfolding across the country, while the mainstream media remains silent, speaks to the fact that most media is owned by the same benefactors that have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

Matt Agorist is the co-founder of TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared. He is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. .

http://www.activistpost.com/2016/06/visible-pollution-leaking-from-ny-nuclear-plant.html

Posted under Fair Use Rules.

— Americans distracted by transgender bathrooms while (at least) 3 nuclear disasters unfold

and Fukushima, and Hanford, and WIPP (New Mexico), and Farallon Islands Waste Dump and …

From Natural Blaze
May 3, 2016

nuc1

The American people have been distracted to keep them from hearing about the 3 nuclear disasters occurring on the East Coast.

The debate over which bathroom transgender people can use has been taking over the Internet and our social conversations for weeks now, and it’s getting a bit ridiculous. Transgender people have always used the bathroom that they feel comfortable with, whether it’s the bathroom that belongs to the sex they were born with or not, and there have been no problems.

In the heat of this debate, Americans are not only divided on the issue but collectively distracted from bigger, more important issues, such as the fact that there are three nuclear disasters occurring throughout the nation that have been getting no media attention.

One major disaster that will soon come to head all started with a fire at the Bridgeton Landfill in Missouri that has been burning for five years. Despite this extremely long length of time, authorities say that this fire is nowhere close to being contained. What’s more is that St. Louis County officials have reported that they have an emergency plan in place because the fire is closing in on nuclear waste dump.

It’s been an entire year since the county first became concerned that the fire would reach the West Lake Landfill, which is home to piles of leftover nuclear waste from the Manhattan Project and the Cold War. Although the EPA has had control over the site since 1990, no significant effort has been made to clear the harmful waste.

The EPA announced last December that it planned on building a wall to prevent the fire from ever reaching the hazardous materials, but the project was supposed to take a year to complete and residents are furious at this slow-moving “effort” to stop a natural disaster. The project has not yet begun and was just barely finalized last week.

Credit: St. Louis Rad Waste Legacy

Additionally, there are two nuclear reactors in the U.S. that have reportedly been leaking for months.

One of the nuclear power plants in Turkey Point, which is in Florida, was found to have been leaking polluted water into Miami-Dade County’s Biscayne Bay. The pollution is affecting the bay’s surface waters and will likely have a damaging effect on the already-fragile ecosystem.

This pollution is also said to be affecting the drinking water, as huge saltwater plumes coming from the power plants have invaded the groundwater.

Laura Reynolds, an environmental consultant that is working towards filing a lawsuit against the Turkey Point power plants said,

“We now know exactly where the pollution is coming from, and we have a tracer that shows it’s in the national park. We are worried about the marine life there and the future of Biscayne Bay.”

Meanwhile, another nuclear reactor in New York has been leaking ever since Americans greeted the new year, when workers accidentally spilled contaminated water that contained the radioactive hydrogen isotope tritium. The spill caused a massive spike in radiation in the groundwater wells, and one well even saw an increase in radioactivity of about 65,000%.

Credit: Awareness Act

Credit: Awareness Act

This is extremely concerning, but when you consider that this is the ninth reported spill in the last year, four of which were so severe that the plant had to be closed, it becomes clear that something needs to change. The residents living close to these leaks and fires are alarmed to say the least, but utility companies and government agencies (whose hands are in the pockets of the utility companies) have continued to downplay the damaging effects of exposure to radiation.

Some Americans have suspected that the passing of North Carolina’s “bathroom bill,” which prohibits transgender people from using the bathroom associated with the gender they identify with, has been a ploy to distract Americans from real issues and they may be right. While there are other important matters occurring daily throughout the world, these three nuclear disasters are being underreported on in an effort to keep the public from turning their attention to these dangerous problems.

Top image credit: Fukushima Watch
This article (Americans Distracted By The Transgender Bathroom Argument While 3 Nuclear Disasters Unfold) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com

Nuclear Nightmare: “Safe Side of the Fence” screens in Idaho

From the Boise Weekly

April 25, 7 p.m., presented by Snake River Alliance

The Safe Side of the Fence screens Monday, April 25, 7 p.m., at The Flicks

Courtesy of the film “Safe Side of the Fence”

The Safe Side of the Fence screens Monday, April 25, 7 p.m., at The Flicks

Since 2000, more than 3,500 workers at Idaho nuclear facilities have been paid over $250 million in compensation through the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program. Nationwide, those numbers are much higher, but may be a fraction of the nuclear program’s true costs to America’s “Cold War vets.” In many cases, illnesses or injuries were suffered on account of poor workplace safety and failure to properly inform workers of the risks of handling radioactive materials.

“I don’t think we can be overly complacent because we’re still having exposures,” said Snake River Alliance Nuclear Program Director Beatrice Brailsford. “We are much more able to provide protection than we used to, but … any mistake can have serious consequences.”

As recently as April 17, reports of a sizeable leak in a nuclear waste storage tank at the Hanford Site on the Columbia River caused emergency crews to respond to what some described as a “catastrophic” incident.

When the United States nuclear program was in its infancy in the 1940s and ’50s, problems of workplace safety and treatment of laborers were more acute. This is evident at the Mallinckrodt Chemical Works in St. Louis, Mo.­–one of the first uranium refineries in the world and the subject of The Safe Side of the Fence.

“Those workers were some of the most contaminated workers in history,” said director Tony West, who will travel to Boise as a guest of the Snake River Alliance for the film’s screening at The Flicks.

The Mallinckrodt workers refined uranium used at the University of Chicago Pile-1 and the Manhattan Project. Later, the West Lake Landfill, where waste was illegally deposited, became a Superfund site. Its workers suffer disproportionately from contamination-related illnesses.

The compensation program itself is 16 years old, but only a few of the people who worked at the plant have received money through it. West made the plant’s lasting impact on St. Louis and learning why compensation has been elusive for its workers the thrust of his documentary.

“The story’s about these workers, but it’s also about waste,” he said.

http://www.boiseweekly.com/boise/nuclear-nightmare-safe-side-of-the-fence-screens-at-the-flicks/Content?oid=3770766

[Editor: This is where the jobs were during the Depression. In addition, there was lots of flag-waving. It was considered unpatriotic to question. People believe what they want to believe, especially if it pays the bills and puts food on the table.]

Knock, knock, is anyone home at the EPA?

The Bridgeton/West Lake Superfund site is a radioactive disaster adjoining St. Louis, Missouri.

From Center for Health, Environment & Justice

February 15, 2016

EPA has gone dark. McCarthy is awaiting the end of her term and no one is protecting the American citizens or our environment.

It is outrageous that Administrator Gina McCarthy refuses to acknowledge the citizens living near the Bridgeton/West Lake Superfund site. What is wrong with her? Just Moms STL wrote a letter requesting a meeting in May of 2015 and never even received an acknowledgement that they asked for a meeting. They traveled to Washington, DC anyway in hopes of seeing McCarthy after their federal delegation of senators and congress representatives sent a letter to encourage McCarthy to meet with them. The community received nothing from the office of the Administrator. Not a call, a letter or even an e-mail saying she had a prior commitment or was on travel.

A second letter was sent this past fall to say the community leaders are planning to travel to Washington, D.C. in February and would she please meet with them to discuss the Superfund site which has been mismanaged by her regional staff. Again there was silence. I personally called every day but one in the month of January and February leading up to the date that local people were traveling to D.C. On many occasions when I called, all I received was a voice mail message that asked me to leave a message and someone would get back to me. I left message after message and no one, not a single person from the agency returned my call.

On a few occasions I actually talked to a woman who answered the phone. She was courteous and respectful and always promised to deliver the message to scheduling department. “Someone will call you back soon.” But no one ever called. The citizens living around the site began a telephone campaign to McCarthy’s office. It was only a week until they travel to D.C. and no one provided an answer if McCarthy would meet or not. The community sold cupcakes, brownies, t-shirts, and worked hard to raise the funds to visit D.C. and meet with the Administrator to explain what was going on from their perspective.

With a slim chance of meeting with McCarthy, now two years since their first request for a meeting was made, they climbed on a plane and came to D.C. While there they met with their congressional delegation, allies in the field but never had a meeting with McCarthy. Also they were never denied a meeting; it was deafeningly silent. My goodness if the answer is “NO” then say so. To say nothing is irresponsible, inexcusable and further victimizing the victims.

I stood outside of McCarthy’s office at 9 a.m. the last day of the groups visit. From the sidewalk I called her office and explained that local leaders are downstairs and waiting for a response from McCarthy before they need to leave for the airport. The public relations office sent down a two young people to receive the letter the community had for McCarthy, outlining their concerns. They apologized that McCarthy wasn’t available to meet. She couldn’t have told the citizens before they left St. Louis that she couldn’t meet? It is not a big request to ask for a simple yes or no of availability.

My take away . . . fire McCarthy. My tax dollars should not be spent on someone who works in government and ignores the citizens of the United States. All she had to do on both occasions is say I’m sorry I’ve got a previous engagement. Common courtesy should be a requirement of federal employment.

http://chej.org/2016/02/knock-knock-is-anyone-home-at-epa/